Roxas surprised over cleaning up of blast site so soon

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 27 July) – Local government Secretary Mar Roxas ordered the recreation of the crime scene at the LimKetKai Rosario Arcade here after he found out during his visit this afternoon the blast site was already cleaned with water.

Roxas arrived in Cagayan de Oro City Saturday afternoon and found the blast site at Kyla’s Bistro “thoroughly clean” just hours after the bomb explosion that killed six people, including Misamis Oriental provincial board member Roldan Lagbas.

“Less than 24 hours after that bomb exploded and you already allowed the crime scene to be cleaned up. Who authorized the release of the crime scene?” Roxas asked police officials led by Senior Supt. Graciano Mijares, the city police chief.

“There is no crime scene in the world that should be cleaned less than 24 hours after a crime is committed. The crime scene where the Ozamiz gang leaders were killed has still not been cleaned after two weeks. We should make sure all the physical evidence are gathered,” he added.

This developed as acting Cagayan de Oro social welfare and development officer Teddy Sabuga-a Jr. said the number of the wounded who sought treatment in five hospitals rose from 28 to 46 as of noon Saturday.

Sabuga-a said seven are still confined at hospitals while the rest with minor injuries were already sent home after treatment.

Death toll, he said, still remained at six.

Roxas appeared to be disappointed after scenes of crime officers (SOCO) explained that they had already gathered all the evidence after they processed the crime site shortly after the bomb exploded around 11:10 p.m. Friday night.

SOCO 10 chief Roque Marban told Roxas they have already finished gathering the evidence when they allowed the owner of Kyla’s Bistro to clean with water the bloody blast site.

“Why give preference to the owner? This is still an active crime scene. Are you sure you got all the evidence you want?” Roxas asked the police officers who gathered around him in front of Kyla’s Bistro.

He ordered the police to recreate the crime scene based on the testimonies of those injured in the blast.

The DILG secretary also ordered PNP Region 10 director Catalino Rodriguez to check the backgrounds of those who died and those injured to see whether they have a longstanding grudge with anybody.

“You must check their individual backgrounds whether they are somewhat connected to the bombing,” Roxas said.

He said the police should get those who were responsible to restore the trust of tourists and investors coming to Cagayan de Oro.

He said those who died came to Cagayan de Oro to attend the national midyear convention of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians at the Grand Caprice at the LimKetKai compound.

“The victims came here because they thought they are safe in Cagayan de Oro and yet this thing happened. You must restore that trust again,” Roxas told the police officers.

Aside from Lagbas, the other fatalities were Sandoz Philippines company district manager Emmanuel Falafox; medical representatives Antony Cañete of Iligan City, Ryan Estose and Antonio Paredes of Cagayan de Oro; and Dr. Erwin Malanay, product manager of Boehringer Ingelheim Philippines.

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